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10 Best Places to See Salmon Spawning Around Seattle and the Eastside

Go, salmon! Where to spy salmon in rivers and creeks around town

Fiona Cohen

Published on: September 14, 2020

10 Best Places to See Salmon Spawning Around Seattle and the Eastside

Viewing windows to the Ballard Locks salmon ladder (pre-pandemic). Credit: pixelgerm/Flickr CC

1. Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, Seattle

Editor's note: The Ballard Locks grounds, gardens and fish ladder are currently closed to visitors, though the actual locks remain open to boat traffic. We're hoping they open soon and can unveil the remodeled fish ladder viewing room. Check the Facebook page for updates and check out this video about salmon migrating through the locks

At the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, commonly known as the Ballard Locks, boats of all sizes ease in and out of Seattle’s ship canal. A few yards away, spawning salmon thrash their way up a 21-step fish ladder, which is actually more like a staircase of water. You can watch the salmon on the 18th step through underwater windows.

When: Peak viewing times are in September, and some stragglers continue through October. In normal seasons, there are regular free tours, but they're suspended right now.

Location: 3015 N.W. 54th St., Seattle

When: September and October

More info: Salmon SEEson Ballard or call 206-783-7059

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